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Hi - complete technophobe here. I have a Sony digital 8 Handycam that I am loathe to get rid of as it takes good quality film. However I can't view any film on the PC for editing etc. Someone has suggested that I need a 'Firewire' connection. Does the PC have to have a dedicated Firewire port or something,as I don't think it has one. Looking on Fleabay just now I see you can buy Firewire 'cards' reasonably cheaply,but get a bit scared as it looks as if you have to take the PC apart to connect it. Is there another way of connecting my camera to the PC?. Thanks.
Firewire is also known as IEEE 1394 and if you have it it will be shown in Device Manager. It is a very fast way of downloading video from a camcorder. Adding a Firewire card to a PC is very simple if you have a spare PCI slot on your motherboard. Most will install there own driver, but if your OS is an early version of XP you might need a driver disc or need to download a driver from the internet.
Does you Sony Camcorder have the type of connectors shown in woodchip's USB adapter? Some do some don't. But most recent Sony's have Firewire, which they sometimes call iLink.
Don't think is camera as Firewire
What output sockets as it got on the camcorder
woodchip - well you may be right but here is one model called Sony Digital 8 Handycam that does. And I know that mine does.
Thanks for the answers chaps. I've been into Device Manager and can't find any sign of IEE1394 or firewire. Here is my model. It does have firewire. Yes it looks as if I can connect straight to 'woodchips' adapter. Does using this adapter mean that I wouldn't have to download the Sony drivers as the adapter is 'plug and play',because the drivers don't seem to exist to be used with Vista. Camera is about 10/11 years old. Thanks again.
If you use the device suggested by woodchip you will not need to download any Sony drivers. Use the S Vdeo output if you can, it will give higher quality than compsite.
Thanks chub_tor and woodchip. Will order the adapter from Amazon later today. I was considering selling the camera but as a reviewer on the ebay link says you would probably have to spend a grand on an hdd Sony to get the equivalent quality. It would probably have a lot more bells and whistles,but I doubt whether I would actually use them. Thanks again,will post more when device arrives.
Would something like this give even better quality footage?.Or would it not be worth the extra cost?.
Yes the Sony that you linked to would give you better quality footage, but if you are considering a new HD camera then take a look at these reviews. Before you choose think about how you will use the camera and what is most important to you, for example the miniDV type that you have now gives you automatic backup even after you have downloaded its contents onto your PC, the tapes are cheap and easily stored. Hard drives in camcorders are just the same as in a pc, they use moving parts, can crash, when full they are written over so your originals are lost. Camcorders using SD cards are again easy to archive, no moving parts, SD cards are cheap to buy. Personally I have a Sony miniDV HD camcorder and will use it until it falls apart, I like the simplicity of it and have no complaints about its quality - but then I am not a film maker, just a recorder of family life.
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